Rainbow Serpent (letter)

Rainbow Serpent (letter)

Hans Klaver

I was amazed to read in the "Church Around the World" (October AD2000) about the Jubilee celebration liturgy in St Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane, on 2 August, for primary school students of the Brisbane Archdiocese, during which the children were read a story after the Gospel about the aboriginal Rainbow Serpent.

We all know this is an important story to the indigenous people of Australia, but do Catholic primary school pupils, when they are presumably taught from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and learn the prayers of the Mass, have to be told, "the Rainbow Serpent stirred from the land and set off to create ... With the Rainbow serpent came life and this life is the life of all people"? (My emphasis).

What is the point in confusing those pupils if, as one hopes, in their religious education classes they are taught that God in Heaven is the Creator of all things? Do these Catholic school children now have to believe that there is more than one Creator?

However, Bishop Michael Putney did not seem to have any problem with what went on and what was said in the Cathedral on that occasion when he spoke to the children.

Runaway Bay, Qld

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